Summit Elevation (m): 2412
Trip Date: January 14 2017
Elevation Gain (m): 800
Round Trip Time (hr): 4
Total Trip Distance (km): 15
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: No difficulties except resisting spending your whole afternoon in the Temple Lodge drinking beer on return! Limited avalanche terrain.
Technical Rating: OT2; YDS (Skiing)
After a hiatus from the mountains due to motivation issues and cold weather, I decided to return for an easy outing up Wolverine Ridge with a group of friends on Saturday, January 14th. I first got the idea for Wolverine while ascending Lipalian Mountain and the Purple Mound with the same group back in April of 2014. I knew it would be a ridiculously short day, but what the heck! Sometimes all you need is a short break to get the mojo back.
We left a pretty busy Fish Creek parking lot at the early hour of 09:00 and chatted our way up the dull ski-out road along Corral Creek to the Temple Lodge. From just above the Temple lodge we followed the route leading into the lower Wolverine Valley.
The only real route decision of the day was whether to tackle the ridge directly or take a longer circuitous route up against Unity Peak before contouring back to the ridge. We chose the latter option for more exercise as there was no track going that way. The snow pack was pretty crappy but we made it slightly higher than Wolverine Ridge on a shoulder coming off Lipalian before losing a few meters to the ridge. We had a delightful lunch in the warm sunshine at a shallow col before tagging the summit of Wolverine Ridge.
We weren’t sure if we trusted the wind loaded NE aspect of the ridge, so we enjoyed a rather tame run back down before making our way back to Temple Lodge where we enjoyed a bevy. The 6.5 minute run back down the ski-out was enjoyable. I would recommend combining Wolverine Ridge with Lipalian and Purple Mound, or ski some laps off the NE aspect in stable avalanche conditions to make a longer day. People have died on these slopes so use caution and ALPTRUTH.